restore deleted apps on iphone

How to restore apps on iPhone

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We are often forced to remove iOS apps due to limited iPhone space. Other times we accidentally delete an app on iPhone, misplace it while decluttering the Home Screen, or it seems to suddenly disappear on its own! But it doesn’t mean we’ve lost it forever. Here’s how to restore lost or deleted apps on iPhone.

How to find hidden apps on iPhone

Before trying to restore lost apps, check if you really did delete them from your phone in the first place. You could have accidentally removed them from your Home Screen. In this case, they are hidden in the App Library. Here’s how to unhide it and get an app back on your Home Screen iPhone:

Swipe Home Screens left till you see the App Library screen. Type the name of the app in the search bar. If the search is successful, press and hold the app icon until a drop-down menu appears, then tap on Add to Home Screen.

restore lost apps from app library

No luck with that method? Then read on for tips to restore deleted apps.

How to find deleted apps on iPhone

The App Store keeps track of all the apps you ever purchased or downloaded on the iPhone or iPad. This facilitates recovering lost or deleted iPhone apps in at least two ways: you can look for it in the Apple purchase history or look it up in the App store.

Apple purchase history

The most useful way to recover purchased apps is via the Purchased list. To do so, open the App Store and tap on the profile icon. Then press Purchased and go to Not on this iPhone tab. You see a list of all your previously purchased or downloaded apps that have since been removed or were never installed on this iPhone.
restore apps from purchased list iphone

App Store

search for deleted iphone apps

From within your iPhone, open the App Store and search for the app you are trying to reinstall. Then simply re-download it. For paid apps you have already purchased it might seem that you have to repurchase at first.

upgrade apps for free in app store

However, once you tap on the price and enter your Apple ID and password, you’ll get the following message which means that you can download the app for free.

How to restore deleted apps on iPhone

The backup solution

If you need to restore deleted apps that you haven’t found in your Apple purchase history, you can restore apps from an iTunes backup without overwriting all the other data on your iPhone. Where the hell am I supposed to take an iTunes backup, you are asking. iTunes backs up your iPhone every time you sync your device to it, or when you use this app to upgrade to the latest iOS version. Here’s a guide on how to locate the default folder of an iTunes backup on your PC and retrieve only apps: How to recover deleted apps on iPhone.

How to restore iPhone app settings, documents and data

Often restoring lost apps is not enough if you don’t also recover the associated app preferences and documents. This is where it all becomes a bit blurry. Different apps store different amounts of app data on your iPhone and in the cloud.

list game center leaderboards

Certain iPhone games such as Angry Birds or Clash of Clans store games progress in the Game Center. Unless you specifically removed this information upon deleting the app, the data and preferences will be restored upon re-installing the app.

apps documents and data in icloud

Some apps, such as Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, are designed to store all associated documents and data in iCloud. If unsure, you can check which of your iPhone apps store documents and data in iCloud by going to Settings > iCloud > Manage storage.
When you restore the app, log in to your Apple account and activate iCloud sync, the app data will swap in.

After re-downloading an app from the App store, CopyTrans Shelbee restores apps documents, ratings and settings saved in the iTunes backup.

How to restore default apps on iPhone

If some of these apps are nowhere to be found on your iPhone, you either deleted them from your iPhone and can easily re-download them from the App Store using the method described above, or it means that usage of the applications has been restricted.

disable restrictions for apps iphone

To enable the default iPhone apps back, navigate to Settings > General > Restrictions and toggle the switch next to each app to the ON position.

disable all iphone restrictions

You can alternatively disable all restrictions in place by tapping Disable Restrictions.

Have more ideas on how to recover lost iPhone apps? Post your suggestion in the comments section below.

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By krasimir

Krasimir is an avid marketing aficionado and a tech-support specialist in charge of the English-speaking market. He grew up in Bulgaria and on the island of Mauritius where he became passionate about windsurfing and photography.